London's FTSE and Germany's DAX were also down 2.5 percent and 3.24 percent, respectively, in early trading after several Chinese indices fell by around eight percent overnight.
Stock exchanges in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan were also hit hard by concerns over China's slowing economy.
The Tokyo-based Nikkei index fell by 3.21 percent in morning trading to below 19,000 points, its lowest point in the last five months.
Market observers have been watching China anxiously for weeks as the country suffers an abrupt slowdown in economic growth.
The latest loss of value comes in spite of massive Chinese government efforts in recent weeks to shore up markets in the country.
Shanghai's stock market has now lost all of the value it had added in the course of 2015.